Mayor Gary Christenson, State Senator Jason Lewis, State Representative Paul Donato and City Councillor-At-Large Craig Spadafora rolled out the red carpet for 78 All-Star Athletes who competed in the Medford Invitational Tournament’s (MIT) 15th Annual Challenger Day at Bruce Field in Malden. This was the eighth time that the City of Malden hosted the baseball tournament for children and teens with differing abilities. This year’s ceremonies were particularly meaningful as longtime MIT President and CEO Ron Giovino is stepping down after 25 years of service. The District 12 Challenger League led by Bernie Colbert and Marie Shea will be taking over the event.
The Malden Police and Fire Department Honor Guards kicked off the opening ceremonies which included the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem sung by Boston Bruins singer Todd Angilly. Following opening ceremonies, all athletes participated in an exciting one-inning baseball game. Hundreds of fans and volunteers came together to welcome the young athletes onto the field and cheer them on during the games. Players hail from Medford, Malden, Wakefield, Lynn, Billerica and other surrounding cities.
To the delight of all in attendance, Wally the Green Monster and sister Tessie, Blades the Bruins Bear, Pat the Patriot with Patriots Cheerleaders, along with other characters greeted and spent time with the athletes. Police Chief Kevin Molis and Fire Chief Kevin Finn provided a ladder truck and a police car for the children to tour. Event sponsors include Pizzeria Regina, Teamsters Local 25, Wegmans, Kelly’s Roast Beef, and Xerox.
After the games, everyone was treated to lunch inside the Irish American Club. MIT President Ron Giovino commended the hundreds of hours donated by the volunteers in making the annual event a huge success. Mayor Gary Christenson presented Ron Giovino a key to the city in recognition of all his work and the tremendous success of the program.
“I am truly grateful to Ron Giovino for all his efforts in making this event a reality for so many years,” said Mayor Gary Christenson. “I look forward to working with Bernie and Marie to ensure the continued success of Challenger Day.”
Challenger Athletes and Mayor Christenson presenting Ron Giovino a Key to the City